Common Apostrophe Mistakes

What are apostrophes?

The apostrophe is a punctuation mark used in writing that looks like this:  ‘ .

When do we use them?

The apostrophe has two functions:

1. To show possession/ownership.

For example:

This is Ben’s dog.

2. In contractions: a shortened version of written forms of a word.

For example:

Don’t go inside. (Don’t is the shortened version of “do not”.)

The most common apostrophe mistakes

Most commonly, kids wrongly use an apostrophe to signify a plural.

They would write: four ball’s instead of four balls.

Talking of plural, many students also struggle with where to place the apostrophe for possessive plural nouns.

They may write: the puppie’s dad, where the correct placement of the apostrophe is: the puppies’ dad.

One further mistake students may make is placing an apostrophe where it just does not belong.

They write, 1950’s instead of 1950s, or “We’re open on Sunday’s” instead of “We’re open on Sundays”.

Or conversely, they forget to place the apostrophe where it belongs.

For example: its for it is. It should be it is. Or "somethings wrong", where it should be "something's wrong" to signify "something is wrong".

Apostrophe mistakes

Pronouns is another area where apostrophes are tricky.

Possessive pronouns, such as theirs and yours never include an apostrophe. Their’s and your’s are, therefore, incorrect.

In shared possessions, students also need to be cautious.

“Karen’s and Bill’s bikes are the same color” is incorrect, “Karen and Bill’s bikes are the same color” is correct. When they share possession, include an apostrophe s after the last name only.

Worksheets to practice apostrophes

We have several worksheets for students in grades 2, 3 and 4 to practice the use of apostrophes.

Grade 2 contractions worksheets

Students practice writing contractions by shortening word in these worksheets.

Grade 2 contractions worksheets

Grade 3 possessive nouns worksheets

In grade 3, students practice the use of possessive nouns. In these worksheets, students are asked to rewrite sentences using possessive nouns.

Grade 3 possessive aopstrophe worksheets

Possession and apostrophes

In these worksheets, students write the possessive word in sentences.

Grade 3 possessive nouns worksheets

Grade 4 contractions worksheets

These worksheets ask students to insert the apostrophes in sentences to complete the contractions.

Grade 4 contractions worksheets

Grade 4 possession with apostrophes worksheets

In these worksheets, students are asked to create a possessive phrase using an apostrophe.

Grade 4 possessive nouns worksheets